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December 2007

  • 22nd December 2007

    David Starkey: The Queen is uncultured and poorly educated 7

    David Starkey: Elizabeth I “was 20 times as well educated. And had either five or six languages.“

    1:41 PM — The openly gay historian Dr David Starkey has said the Queen is uninterested in her predecessors because she was poorly educated.He told the Guardian: "I think she's got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture."You remember: 'Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver'." He compared her to Elizabeth I, who also acceded the throne at 25, "was 20 times as well educated. And had either five or six languages".

  • Blair converts to Catholicism 1

    Tony Blair's conversion was not a surprise

    1:01 PM — Former prime minister, Tony Blair, has converted to Catholicism, his spokesman confirmed today.He was welcomed into the church in a service last last night by the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.Mr Blair's relationship with the gay community was seriously damaged following his appointment of the devoutly Catholic Ruth Kelly to the post of Minister for Equality in 2006. Ms Kelly, a member of Opus Dei had never voted in favour of gay rights despite her role holding responsibility for LGBT issues.

  • 21st December 2007

    Graham Norton to search for new star of Oliver!

    Norton will host the new programme

    7:20 PM — Gay comic Graham Norton will host a new show for the BBC next year, I'd Do Anything will try to find four new stars for the musical Oliver.Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber will lead the judges but will be joined by the musical theatre produer, Cameron Mackintosh, listed as the 16th most influential gay person in Britain in the Independent's 2007 list.

  • Nepal “sets a new standard for LGBTI rights”

    The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) congratulated Nepal's LGBTI organisations on today's ruling.

    7:20 PM — Nepal's gay rights organisation has released a statement celebrating the Supreme Court's decision to grant equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.Blue Diamond Society's Sunil B Pant said he was extremely happy and proud" of the court's decision, which the group hopes will mean a revolution for gay people in the Himilayan country."It is believed that LGBTI will enjoy, today onward, all the rights according their sexual and gender identities as other genders."

  • London HIV funding cuts reversed 15

    London's PCTs had proposed switching funding for gay men's projects to pay for prevention work in black African communities.

    6:55 PM — Charity Gay Men Fighting AIDS has revealed that it has received an announcement from NHS London stating that HIV prevention funds for gay men will not be cut.Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have been told to back down on their previous stance that money was too tight."HIV prevention work for gay men in London was going to be cut by 36%, which would have meant that some of the existing services would just stop," said Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes for GMFA.

  • Review: St Trinians impresses and amuses 1

    The film updates Searle's original creations for a world with where our social mores have shifted.

    5:30 PM — With an all-star cast, the latest St Trinian's film brings the unruly schoolgirls kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.Facing closure from the bank, and under pressure from the government for her unorthodox teaching methods, headmistress Camilla Fritton (played with great relish by Rupert Everett), rallies her girls round.Pitting their wits against former-flame, Education Minister Geoffrey Thwaites (Colin Firth), she joins her pupils in a plot to steal famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

  • Jersey consults on gay marriage 3

    Senator Philip Ozouf, Jersey's Minister for Economic Development, is the island's only openly gay politician.

    3:30 PM — The States of Jersey has set-up an advisory board to receive comments on four government proposals for new legislation which could introduce gay marriage to the island by the end of next year.The four options put forward for further discussion are the right for same-sex couples to marry, same-sex civil partnerships as in the UK, civil partnership for both heterosexual and same-sex couples, or no change to the current law.The closing date for comments is 31st March 2008.

  • Paddick calls on Met chief to resign over shooting 2

    Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay officer until he stood down as one of the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioners in May.

    2:40 PM — The Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London has again called on the capital's most senior police officer to resign over the shooting of an innocent man.Brian Paddick's remarks follow the announcement today by the independent police watchdog that no officers from the Metropolitan police will face charges or disciplinary action over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22nd 2005.Mr Paddick was the UK's most senior out gay officer until he stood down as one of the Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioners in May.

  • Spanish embassy unaware of civil partnerships agreement 170

    The British government has confirmed a new agreement between the UK and Spain regarding recognition of UK civil partnerships.

    1:55 PM — The Spanish Embassy in London was unaware UK civil partners should now receive the same benefit as married couples in Spain, despite advice from the British government that Spanish authorities should be contacted for guidance on the matter.When contacted by PinkNews.co.uk today Fernando Villalba, the Spanish Embassy press councillor, said: "This is the first time I have heard about that. I haven't seen it in the news."He said he had no advice for same-sex civil partners wishing to claim marriage benefits.

  • Christian MPs want to amend hate crime legislation 102

    Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.

    1:40 PM — A cross-party group of MPs has tabled an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.Christian Concern for our Nation is urging its supporters to pressure MPs into supporting the new amendment.

  • Court demands end to Nepal’s gay discrimination

    Sunit Pant of gay rights group Blue Diamond Society praise today's Supreme Court ruling.

    1:15 PM — Gay rights campaigners in the Himalayan nation of Nepal have spoken of their delight at a ruling by the Supreme Court legitimising gay rights.The court, hearing a petition from four activists, has ordered that the government not just overturn discriminatory laws but pass new ones protecting the rights of gay people.The harassment that lesbian, gay and trans people face in the country often comes at the hands of Maoist rebels.

  • New EU nation not taking to gay acceptance 1

    80 percent of people in Bulgaria had a “negative attitude“ towards gay people and 53 percent had an “extremely negative“ attitude.

    12:55 PM — One of the more recent EU member states has very high levels of hostility towards gay people, a survey has revealed.Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries on the continent, joined the European Union in January, but social attitudes do not appear to be developing as quickly as the economy.According to the Novinite news agency, research conducted by Skala agency in September found that only 17 percent of Bulgarians "can freely communicate with gay people."

  • 17% of Florida LGB couples are raising children

    Contrary to a popular stereotype, the annual earnings of men in same-sex couples are significantly lower than married men. photo: drab makyo@flickr.com

    12:40 PM — Opponents of same-sex marriage in one of America's most populous states are confident they have gathered the more than 600,000 signatures needed to get a question on the November 2008 ballot calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.Florida4Marriage.org, a coalition of groups, has been trying to get the question on the ballot for three years.The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has released a new research study providing demographic and economic information for the almost 55,000 same-sex couples in Florida.

  • Holiday homecoming for gay US soldier

    Sergeant Manzella joined the Army in April 2002 and deployed to Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, in March of 2004.

    12:25 PM — The Christmas holidays will be a whole lot brighter for the Manzella family, who are looking forward to welcoming a very special guest home.Sergeant Darren Manzella featured on last Sunday's US current affairs show 60 Minutes about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."He arrived back in the United States yesterday with his unit, returning from a long tour in Kuwait. He got back to his base in the States yesterday.

  • Gay volunteer recognised with local hero award

    The Local Hero Award is part of the Bank of America's Neighbourhood Excellence Initiative. John Leander collected his award from Jonathan Moulds, President of Bank of America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    12:05 PM — A Stonewall volunteer has been honoured for his charity work.As well as his prestigious Bank of America Local Hero Award,John Leander was given £3,000 for his nominated charity, which he donated to Stonewall.Mr Leander has volunteered full-time at Stonewall for 4 years, making a key contribution to their work promoting equality and justice for gay people.

  • Organisers appeal to gay community’s Olympic spirit 1

    Everyone can find out how they can get involved right now in the Games and Paralympic Games.

    11:30 AM — Next year the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games begin in earnest. August 2008 marks the start of London's Olympiad.To kick-start the activities, London 2012 and the London Development Agency are launching the Get Set London roadshow on Wednesday 9th January in Trafalgar Square.This is a great opportunity for Londoners to find out how the 2012 Olympic Games Paralympic Games will benefit jobs and skills, culture, sports, business and regeneration in the capital.

  • Interview: Exorcising the spirit of Section 28

    One of his most successful and famous projects was the hilarious, fast-paced, loud and proud Channel 4 series Metrosexuality.

    11:15 AM — "I'd put entertainer," Rikki Beadle-Blair says with a grin, when I ask him what he puts down as his occupation when he fills in official forms.The reason for my question is that Rikki seems to be good at everything. He wrote his first play at the age of seven and started directing at eleven.He has enjoyed success as an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, singer and songwriter; and in his spare time, if he gets any, he teaches aerobics and dance.

  • 20th December 2007

    Gay marriage opponent is new ANC leader 3

    Mr Zuma, a former deputy President of South Africa, angered LGBT activists after comments he made at a Heritage Day celebration calling plans to legalise same-sex marriages a “disgrace to the nation and to God.“

    5:22 PM — Jacob Zuma, the new leader of the African National Congress, has previously spoken out against gay marriage.Mr Zuma, 65, won a considerable victory over incumbent South African President Thabo Mbeki and is the clear favourite to become the country's next leader, despite concerns he could face corruption charges.In 2006 he had apologise for offending the gay community and claimed that his comments describing same sex marriage as "a disgrace" were misinterpreted.

  • Men plead not guilty to Royal blackmail charges 25

    The men were remanded in custody until their trial begins April 14th. They have been held since their arrest two months ago.

    4:30 PM — Two men charged with attempting to blackmail a minor member of the Royal Family pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey today.Ian Strachan, 30, and Sean McGuigan, 40, were arrested in October after police mounted a sting operation.They are alleged to have demanded £50,000 not to release a video showing an aide to a member of the Royal Family discussing engaging in oral sex with his employer.

  • Stephen Williams promoted in Lib Dem reshuffle 1

    Mr Williams, 40, was elected to Parliament in 2005. Last year he was nominated for Politician of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

    2:28 PM — Bristol West MP Stephen Williams has been appointed Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for Innovation, Universities and Skills.He becomes the only gay man in the party's 'Shadow Cabinet.' In his previous roles as an education spokesman he gained prominence for his fight against homophobic bullying in schools.Mr Williams, 40, was elected to Parliament in 2005. Last year he was nominated for Politician of the Year at the Stonewall Awards.

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